Published September 09, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – After Justin Morneau homered in the ninth inning to beat Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta bemoaned another shot the Minnesota slugger tagged.
Acta was disappointed in the way starter Corey Kluber approached Morneau much earlier in the Twins' 8-7 win Sunday.
Morneau hit a two-run homer in the third after Kluber got ahead of him.
"You can't let be letting guys take those kind of rips on 0-2 counts," Acta said. "The whole thing of pitching ahead is to make a guy expand, try to make him chase, take advantage of it."
The Indians had taken a 4-0 lead when Kluber tried to get Morneau out on an 0-2 changeup.
"I just really made a bad pitch, made a mistake and he took advantage of it," Kluber said. "It was a pitch that was the best one to try and get him out."
The Twins also hit a pair of 0-2 pitches in the seventh to take the lead. Joe Mauer doubled off Esmil Rogers to put runners on second and third and Chris Parmelee later hit a sharp, two-out, two-run single off Tony Sipp.
"We did a very good job on taking advantage of the walks earlier and moving guys over and scoring them, we only failed in that situation and it proved to be costly," Acta said. "Still, you can't be giving up eight runs and be expected to win ballgames."
With one out in the ninth, Morneau hit the first pitch from Vinnie Pestano (3-2) just inside the right-field foul pole for his 19th homer of the season. Morneau has four two-homer games this season.
Brian Duensing (4-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory for the Twins. Minnesota's Joe Mauer had three hits — a single, double and triple — and scored twice.
Carlos Santana had three hits, including a home run, and scored twice for Cleveland. Brent Lillibridge and Michael Brantley each scored a pair of runs for the Indians.
The Twins have won two in a row and are now 5-4 in September. The victory also moves Minnesota within one game of Cleveland in an attempt to get out of last place in the AL Central.
Cleveland had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth when Matt LaPorta singled and moved to second on the first out of the inning. However, neither Carlos Santana nor Russ Canzler could drive in the go-ahead run off Duensing.
Minnesota took a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the seventh when Chris Parmalee hit a bases-loaded single through the right side of the infield, scoring Jamey Carroll and Mauer.
That lead didn't last long. With one out in the top of eighth, Cleveland's Jason Donald snapped a 0-for-17 stretch with a triple to the wall off Twins reliever Jared Burton that scored Lillibridge and tied the game 7-7.
Santana gave Cleveland a lead in the top of the fifth. After Brantley singled, Santana doubled over the head of center fielder Ben Revere. With the ball going to the wall, Brantley was able to score on a close play at the plate, tying it at 5.
When Santana scored on Russ Canzler's single down the third base line, Cleveland took a 6-5 lead.
Santana opened the scoring in the second inning with his 15th home run of the season, a long drive to right. Cleveland turned Lillibridge's double, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch into two additional runs for a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota scored three times in the third and two more times in the fourth to erase Cleveland's early lead.
Mauer tripled in Carroll in the third and then scored on Morneau's first homer of the game.
In the fourth, Minnesota's Darin Mastroianni reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Pedro Florimon's bloop single. Florimon continued the small-ball offense when he stole second and gave the Twins a 5-4 lead on a single by Revere.
Neither starter lasted long. Minnesota's Esmerling Vasquez lasted only three innings after needing 68 pitches to record nine outs. He gave up four earned runs on three hits while walking five. Cleveland's Corey Kluber didn't get out of the fourth inning, giving up five runs — four earned — on eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.
NOTES: RHP Justin Masterson (11-12, 4.84) will make his 30th start of the season for Cleveland in Monday's series finale. Masterson has won four of his last six decisions and is 9-6 over his last 15 decisions since June 15. RHP Samuel Deduno (5-3, 3.66) is scheduled to counter for Minnesota. Deduno is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in two previous starts this season against Cleveland.